Monday, December 21, 2009

Vegas: Part Deux

After the hell of the first night we got up a little late.  Too late for breakfast anyway.  We decided to go to Red Rock Canyon.  First off we had no idea how to get there, so we had to ask the concierge for directions.  Than we had to find the interstate.  That was fun in of itself.  We had to go South on 215, but 215 is East/West.  When we went to get on 215, we realized it wasn't the 215 we wanted.  Theres a County Road 215 and an Interstate 215.  Well, we got on the County Road one and drove for awhile before we got off as no roadsigns were helping.  So we turned around and found I215 with no problem, and we were off to where we wanted to go.  

Red Rock Canyon has a very nice view.  Its a mountainous desert area, and pretty barren.  There are quite a few Joshua Trees, cacti and a whole lot of shrubs.  I was a bit dismayed with the lack of cow skeletons in the dirt, which would complete the classic desert imagery.  As we were driving you couldn't tell how close the mountains were.  Were they really close, or perhaps several miles off still?  As we travelled west the sun was behind us, and shadows covered the craggy mountains.  A majestic sight to behold.  The shadowed areas of the mountains were a great contrast to the lighted areas.  

The Red Rock Canyon itself is neat.  Portions of the mountains are colored red.  The area used to be a lake millions of years ago.  As the tectonic plates moved, some of the rock was buried, and the lake drained.  Further seismic activity brought the buried rock into open air, which then over the years oxidized.  Literally, the Red Rock Canyon is made of rusted rock.

After sightseeing at the canyon, we went to the Red Rock Canyon Resort and Casino.  Yes, in Las Vegas, even the National Conservation Areas have casinos.  Not really.  The Casino is not on the National Conservation Area property, its just kind of a "last stop" before going to the area.  Anywho, Red Rock Casino is a newer casino, owned by Station Casinos.  It's a nice place, but honestly I don't see many people staying there.  Its so far out from the strip.  But I guess people that don't want to be touristy might like it.  We only really went there for the buffet, which was awesome.  Not many lunch buffets have a sushi, which Red Rock had a nice selection of.  I'm not a big sushi fan, but there was wasabi, which I love.  The Mexican area was also awesome.  They had fajita mixes which I never saw at other casino buffets.  Not like just a soft taco shell and regular taco mixings, they really had sauteed peppers and onion mixed with chicken of beef.  The dessert selection was very nice as well.  Sorbets, cakes, cookies, and other baked items.  

After lunch we signed up for the Players Club since you get free slot play.  Didn't turn out to be much, $3.00, but hey, free money if you win.  The way free slot play works out:  The free slot play is a dollar amount, but its not physical money.  You get a card, not unlike a keycard or credit card, and you put the card in a slot machine.  After following the instructions on screen (usually enter a PIN number), the money on the card acts like you put money in the machine.  Thing is, you can't cashout the money on the card, you have to play the money on the card.  Once you play out the money on the card, you can cashout and whatever you get is what you won.  

After losing our money to the one-armed bandit we went shopping.  Bought some stuff at Fry's Electronics, and went to the outdoor outlet mall and got some stuff there too.  I think we walked a bit on the strip too, but not completely sure.  

For dinner we went to the Orleans Buffet.  Players Club members get a two dollar discount on buffet prices, so we had to sign up for that.  Also got $5.00 free slot play.  Added Bonus!  We didn't use that that night since we had plans already.  The Orleans Buffet has always been one of our favorite buffets.  There's about seven different sections for different types of food.  And the desert section is fairly large with a lot to choose from.  Key items at this buffet:  Machaca (Mexican pulled beef), Gumbo (Not a big fan, but apparently its really good here), and any of the desserts.  This year they had gelato, which makes the buffet that much better in my opinion.

After dinner we went downtown.  We always park at the Golden Nugget, which doesn't mean anything in itself.  The Golden Nugget is a 4-Diamond rated hotel in downtown Las Vegas.  Its a gaudy hotel.  I dunno, its nice an all, but I really don't like gold.  Its so tacky.  Everything about this hotel is golden.  We gambled some at Fremont Hotel and Fitzgerald's and maybe Binion's.  But the real reason we came downtown was for the Fremont Street Experience.  Downtown Las Vegas is on Fremont Street, its just a pedestrian street, no cars can drive along it.  Over the length of the street is a giant canopy made of roughly 12 million LED lights.  The lights are programmed for light shows.  The light shows are always really cool.  This yea we saw one dedicated to the band Queen, which is awesome, cause Queen is my favorite band of all time.  They played We Will Rock You and We Are the Champions.  After that there was a Generic Christmas themed one, Frank Sinatra singing a Christmas carol I can't remember which.  The Experience plays once every hour.  The second Experience was dedicated to Kiss.  I'm not a big Kiss fan, but it was pretty cool.

After gambling and watching the Experience, we went back to the hotel and went to sleep.

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